A relationship – whether personal or professional – is nothing without trust. And while this is something that takes time and energy to establish, you cannot run an effective organization without it.  By investing in trust, you are ultimately investing in your employees and the future of your company. Make the effort to do so – you cannot afford not to.

Trust is one of the pillars necessary for a strong and healthy relationship. This is true both personally and professionally. You need to have trust in your team and – by the same token – your team needs to have trust in you.

Unfortunately, this is an area where many companies are severely lacking. Not only do employees often state that they have a lack in trust in their organization’s leadership, but many trust their peers more than they do their managers. And this number is just continuing to decrease year after year.

A lot of people confuse liking with trusting. But, in fact, these two terms are very different. Think about it this way. The people that you would want to hang out with during a weekend might not be the same people that you would trust to best handle a critical situation. You do not necessarily need your employees to like you – but you do need them to respect and trust you.

The benefits of trust in the workplace go two ways. You need to be able to trust your employees to produce great work. And the more trusted they feel, the more they will feel a responsibility to produce great work for you. For this reason, it is not surprising that a sense of trust tends to be positively correlated with employee effectiveness. 

When your employees trust you, they are more likely to share their ideas – this results in greater collaboration and innovation, two things which can have a great impact on a company’s bottom line. It also generally means higher employee satisfaction, which can reduce burnout and turnover rates.

What all of this comes down to is that, building trust is something that every company needs to be actively investing in on a regular basis. You cannot afford not to. This process takes time. Start implementing the following recommendations immediately to continually build trust up and down your company:

  • Be open to criticism
  • Have an open-door policy
  • Share successes and failures
  • Do not play favorites
  • Maintain transparency
  • Provide rationale
  • Promote discussion
  • Invest in employee development

Remember that trust may look a little different to each employee. Their needs and values could vary to some extent. For this reason, it is important that management invests the time and energy in getting to know individual team members. Trust is something that takes effort to build – it does not happen overnight. And once it is established, make sure that you do not take it for granted. It can also quickly disappear.